Since Troy Gregory, a regular member of the Witches and a professional “part-time member,” named his first solo album after the seventies’ multiple-personality disorder weeper Sybil, I would have to assume Laura is named after the excellent 1944 noir film about falling in love with a dead girl — not the Spanish-language talk show or a girl named Laura. Which is a shame, because that show kicks ass, and Laura is really a very nice girl once you get to know her.
All that aside, this really should be a bad record. There is way too much reverb and the tone is consistently dark and moody in the most intentional of ways. But Gregory’s songs are dirty and fun, and his sound is entertaining, if not original. If this record is given some time, what might be an initially distant and one-note experience will eventually reveal its warmth and playfulness, particularly in opener “Dracula has Risen from the Pond” and “The Brood.” This is a seasoned underground pro making the music he loves and, while his talent isn’t abundant or risky, it’s enough to recommend the record for indie-rock fans.